August 29, 2011
Significant Progress made in Motor Fire, Hwy. 140 to reopen at 6:00 a.m Tuesday, Aug. 30
Due to significant progress that has been made in extinguishing the Motor Fire west of Yosemite National Park in the Merced River Canyon, the Evacuation Order for residents of Rancheria, Incline Road, Cedar Lodge, and the Trailer Court, has been lifted as of 9:00 P.M. this evening. This applies to residents only. Additionally, Highway 140, one of the main entrances into Yosemite National Park, will be open for all traffic beginning tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m (eastbound traffic, into the park, will commence at 6:00 a.m., and the westbound traffic, toward Mariposa, will commence at 6:45 a.m.). The road will be open to all vehicular traffic, without restrictions.
"We'd like to express our sincere gratitude and thanks to the Incident Management Team and all of the firefighters who have been working around the clock to extinguish the fire. To see the results of their efforts, especially in such steep and rocky terrain, is truly remarkable. The Team has shown tremendous leadership, skill, and fortitude in all of their work. In addition to the U.S. Forest Service, we'd also like to extend our appreciation to the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, Mariposa County Fire Dept., Cal Fire, Cal Trans, Mariposa County Board of Supervisors,California Highway Patrol, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. PG&E, Yosemite Resorts, and several other agencies that have epitomized cooperation and teamwork", stated Kelly Martin, Chief, Fire & Aviation Management, Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite National Park has remained open during the Motor Fire, which began in the afternoon of August 25. Highways 41 and 120 have remained open and the park has continued to offer the full range of visitor services throughout the fire. Visitors to the park had not declined and visible smoke in Yosemite Valley has been, and continues to be negligible.
Fire crews have made excellent progress on the Motor Fire in the past two days utilizing air attack and ground crews. Although the fire is still active, the fire is no longer a threat to the communities. People utilizing Highway 140 are urged to drive with caution as helicopters will continue to be working in the area and debris may be on the roadway.
The Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS) will resume its normal schedule tomorrow morning. For exact times, please check www.yarts.com